Surrey University Stag

UNDERSTANDING THE NOVEL - 2023/4

Module code: ELI1025

Module Overview

 

This module is designed to introduce students to the academic study of the novel. Over the course of the module students will learn to read narrative fiction closely and critically, and to consider the relations between prose texts and the political, cultural, and intellectual contexts in which they are written and read. Focusing on novels in English from a range of historical periods and national contexts, the module examines fundamental aspects of the novel such as formal structure, characterisation, narrative, and voice, and important novelistic genres such as realism and the Gothic. It also considers the novel form’s representation of key issues such as subjectivity, gender, race, and politics. By enabling students to acquire the knowledge and critical skills needed to study and analyse novels, this module will provide a foundation for the study of prose fiction at degree level. This module connects to other period specific modules throughout the degree at levels 5 and 6. As a hybrid creative writing and English literature module, it also makes up part of the creative writing pathway in the degree, connecting to creative writing modules in the first, second and final years

 

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

DOVE Danielle (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: Q320

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 80

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 67

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 50

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None.    

Module content

 

Indicative content covered in this module may include:

Introducing the novel

Romanticism and the novel

Early Nineteenth-Century novel

Close Reading

The Victorian novel

Modernism to postmodernism

The postmodern novel

 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay (2000 Words) Or Creative Writing Portfolio (1500 Words Of Creative Prose Plus Critical Commentary (500 Words) 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the module learning outcomes in addition to the development of employability skills, digital capabilities, global and cultural capabilities, and resourcefulness and resilience.

Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback is designed mainly to assess transferable skills in communicating ideas orally and in working individually and as part of a group. It also assesses subject knowledge in British writing, in literature’s historical and intellectual contexts, and in theoretical/critical methodologies. Seminars also assess cognitive/ analytical skills in critical thinking and in analysis of literary form.

Both the essay and the close reading assess subject knowledge in English writing, in literature’s historical and intellectual contexts, and in theoretical/critical methodologies. They also assess cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in analysis of literary form, and transferable skills in communicating ideas in writing. The essay and close reading further assess professional/practical skills, namely the ability to plan and implement timetables for revision and assessment deadlines.

As an alternative to an Essay, students on the English Literature and Creative Writing programme MAY alternatively submit a portfolio of creative writing and accompanying self-reflexive commentary for their final assessment. This assessment option allows you to demonstrate: 

* Subject knowledge relating to the close analysis of form, meaning and language in prose to demonstrate:
* Cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking.
* Professional/practical skills in communicating ideas in writing. 
* Creative engagement with the opportunities and limitations of a particular mode of writing 
* Creative engagement with the texts and themes discussed on the module
* An ability to locate your own creative work fruitfully and articulately in relation to existing literary traditions and the contemporary field of literary production

Summative Assessment:

* Essay (2000 Words) OR Creative Writing Portfolio (1500 Words Of Creative Prose Plus Self-Reflective Commentary (500 Words)

Please note that the option of submitting a Creative Writing Portfolio and Self-Reflective Commentary is available only to students on the English Literature and Creative Writing programme.

 

For students on the English Literature programme, verbal feedback and formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions, and tutor and peer feedback in seminars, Written and/or oral tutor feedback will also be provided on an essay plan (maximum of 250 words or equivalent) during the course of the module (the student is free to submit this at any point of the semester).

For students on the English Literature and Creative Writing programme, verbal feedback and formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions, and tutor and peer feedback in seminars, on short pieces (250 words) presented as part of the confidence building safe space of the creative writing workshop element of the classes.

Each student can expect to present 2-3 such pieces over the course of the semester according to a schedule worked out between the tutor and the student cohort. Written and/or oral tutor feedback will also be provided on one piece of creative writing (maximum of 500 words or equivalent) during the course of the module (the student is free to submit this at any point of the semester).

For both sets of students writing, presentation and critical analysis skills will be developed and honed which will feed forward to the summative assessment at the end of the module.

There is the option of a range of other feedback mechanisms agreed between tutor and students in week 1 of the module, such as seminar contribution and writing exercises.

 

 

 

Module aims

  • The module aims to deepen and expand students' understanding of: the novel in English and developments in the novel since the 18th-century
  • the theoretical and critical methodologies that underpin the study of the novel
  • the distinct development of the novel as a form
  • key themes in the English novel
  • key themes in the English novel
  • individual authors' writing
  • The module aims to develop and strengthen students¿ skills in: close reading, analysis, and critical thinking
  • oral and written communication and independent work and group work in seminars
  • time management through essay submission and revision planning
  • Students on the English Literature and Creative Writing programme who are submitting a portfolio of Creative Work for their final assignment are also being given the opportunity to respond creatively to an assigned writing task, to engage in a creative manner to the works of others, and to gain practice in identifying the ways in which their own writing fits into (and perhaps helps transform our understanding of) the existing literary landscape

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On completion of this module, students will be able to: demonstrate knowledge of key periods, writers, and themes in English novel from the 18th-century K
002 Understand key themes and issues in the English novel KC
003 Understand the primary theoretical and critical methodologies used to analyse these themes and ideas KCT
004 Use critical material and theoretical concepts in relation to close textual analysis and critical thinking KCT
005 Communicate orally in class discussions and in written form in an essay and work both individually and as part of a group T
006 Plan and implement timetables for assessment deadlines PT
007 Students on the English Literature and Creative Writing programme who are submitting a portfolio of Creative Work for their final assignment to engage creatively as well as critically with the themes, topics and texts on this module KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to deliver subject knowledge, to develop cognitive/ analytical skills, and to develop in-depth transferable, practical, and professional skills. Specifically, the weekly lectures deliver subject knowledge through an overview of the English novel, and develop cognitive/analytical skills in analysing literature and its historical and intellectual contexts. The weekly seminars involve student-led discussions that develop key employability skills in communication and in working individually and as part of a group. The seminars also provide students with instruction on planning and implementing timetables for work and on presenting ideas coherently under time constraints.

This relates to the programme learning and teaching strategy, which, at FHEQ Level 4, is designed to consolidate foundational subject knowledge through lectures and SurreyLearn and to develop transferable, practical, and professional skills, with an emphasis on student-led involvement, critical analysis, discussion, and rhetorical ability.

The learning and teaching methods include: lecture content, seminars, captured content, guided learning and independent learning, as well as 1-1 revision/essay writing appointments in week 12.

 

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI1025

Other information

The School of Literature and Languages is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Employability: Along with the other first year modules, this module enables students to start on their journey as independent researchers and will support them in developing transferable professional skills which will prove essential across a variety of career pathways. In particular, the learning, teaching, and assessment strategy for this module has been designed to support and develop students’ skills in communication, critical thinking, and independent research, all of which are valued by employers.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Lectures and seminars are scaffolded by pre-class requirements including the completion of set reading and pre-seminar questions to help guide students’ learning. The aim of this is to encourage self-directed study and to promote independence and individual resourcefulness. Peer and tutor feedback in seminar discussions develops students’ confidence in communicating analytical and critical ideas. Group work will also provide opportunities for students to develop their thinking both independently and in conjunction with others. The lectures and seminars in weeks 1, 5, and 11 are dedicated to study skills, essay writing, and the successful completion of assessments, all of which offer further tools for independent learning and self-organisation.

Digital Capabilities: The module facilitates the development of digital capabilities to aid students in navigating an increasingly digital world. The university’s online learning platform, SurreyLearn, requires students to engage with digital learning material and resources. In addition to attending lectures and seminars, students on this module are actively encouraged to engage with captured content, along with other multi-media resources, such as online archives, scholarly websites, documentaries, and podcasts. The skills sessions in weeks 5 and 11 will introduce students to digital tools, library catalogues, and online databases that will prove central to undertaking relevant research for the summative assessment.

Global Capabilities: This module asks students to respond critically and/or creatively to a wide range of novels produced in different historical periods, cultures, and societies by authors who are themselves diverse in their ethnicities, political views, social backgrounds, and geographical locations. It requires students to consider the changing form of the novel in its many iterations across time and space. Another key concern of this module is to explore and analyse the way in which fictional protagonists’ identities, such as race and nationality in particular, are constructed and negotiated within the novels’ fictional worlds, in order to promote understanding and respect of other cultures.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with German BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.